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From: Lisa Hawkins (68.32.13.105)
Subject:         Online Advanced Placement U.S. History Course
Date: June 10, 2011 at 5:09 am PST

I am running an AP US History course online for the 2011-2012 year to prepare students to take the 2012 exam. Lots of information about the course can be found at http://questcourses.edublogs.org.

If you have any questions or would like to apply, please email me at lisa@questcourses.com. The discount for tuition ends on June 30, and I expect many students will be signing up in the next few weeks, so the class might close out.

Here is some information I posted under my Why Online AP page:
The Advanced Placement US History exam is administered every year by the Educational Testing Service. If students perform extremely well, they might be able to earn college credit, depending on the university. Even if your college or university of choice does not award college credit for a successful AP exam, a successful AP experience is becoming increasingly more important factor in their college applications. In recent years, the number of students taking AP exams has been increasing – dramatically, in the case of the US History exam. For some very selective institutions, like Harvard University, rare is the accepted student who has not taken any AP exams.

Now, students can take the AP exam without taking an AP course. However, there are several advantages for taking a real Advanced Placement course:

Advanced Placement courses are certified by the College Board as meeting their standards of college-level history instruction in a high school setting. (This course has been so approved, under the auspices of Pennsylvania Homeschoolers.)
Students who have successfully completed an AP course can report a certified AP credit on their transcript.
Teachers who design and conduct AP courses are uniquely qualified to help students prepare for the AP exam.
AP courses have high levels of expectation and allow students to interact and learn from highly-motivated classmates.
Students who perform well can often get college recommendations from their AP instructors.
But, what about the limitations of taking a course online? How can a student get excellent preparation in an online environment?

Homeschooled students rarely have opportunity to take AP courses in a classroom setting.
The online environment allows a balance of accountability and flexibility that homeschooling families value.
Online classes can take advantage of a variety of instructional material – print-based, audio, visual, and interactive.
Finally, even if you had other AP options, why should you consider signing up for this course in particular?

I have been teaching college-level courses for over twelve years.
I have been teaching online for over six years, and am familiar with a variety of online resources and techniques.
I know how to create and conduct online classes that are challenging, enjoyable, structured, and highly-interactive.
I love American history so much that my husband knows that getting me some massive book about John Adams or The Progressive Era will make me very, very happy.
I am a homeschooling parent and understand both the unique needs and unique strengths of homeschoolers.
I am a former high school teacher, so I also understand the unique quirks of teenagers!
I am a trained AP reader which means I have plenty of know-how concerning what AP graders value in the essay portion of the test.
One final thing… I know homeschooling families often have to make hard financial choices concerning their children’s education. The same applies to my homeschooling family. The tuition for this course is $600 ($575, if you sign up before July 1). To some, that may seem like a lot. However, please note that hours and hours and hours go into creating a quality course – choosing the best textbooks, designing a syllabus, making up tests, describing major assignments, creating instructional material (the preparation for my audio-visual lectures is very time-intensive), designing the websites, etc. And all of that involves work before the class actually begins! Consider also all of the interactions with students and parents, discussion boards, essay grading and feedback, student guidance, etc., and hopefully you will see why online AP instructors simply could not charge less.

If you have any questions about the course, please be sure to email me at lisa@questcourses.com.


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